What is CEESAT ?

CEESAT is the CEE Synthesis Assessment Tool that is used to critically appraise each review and overview before inclusion in the CEEDER Database.

CEESAT has been supported by Mistra EviEM (Sweden) which hosted a CEE workshop for a group of invited persons engaged in further improving the tool.

About the CEESAT criteria in an article published by Paul Woodcock and colleagues in Biological Conservation and on the CEE website.

About current CEESAT Criteria
-Download CEESAT for Evidence Reviews Criteria
-Download CEESAT for Evidence Overviews Criteria

See here for the whole methodology of CEEDER.

The CEESAT workshop group. From left: Jacqui Eales, Neal Haddaway, Ruth Garside, Nicola Randall, Barbara Livoreil, Andrew Pullin, Geoff Frampton, Christian Kohl and Biljana Macura.

The CEESAT checklist provides a point by point appraisal of the confidence that can be placed in the findings of an evidence review by assessing the rigour of the methods used in the review, the transparency with which those methods are reported and the limitations imposed on synthesis by the quantity and quality of available primary data. Note that CEESAT does not distinguish between reviews that do not employ methodology that reduces risk of bias and increases reliability of findings and reviews that may have employed such methodology but do not report it.

Each component of the review process is appraised according to a set of criteria. Each criteria are assigned a rating ranging from red (poor quality) to gold (high quality). Explore review components, sets of criteria, and thresholds for different ratings below.

How are evidence reviews identified and rated?

Step 1: We perform a systematic search of multiple databases and use search engines to collect potential environmental evidence reviews. Searches are regularly updated.
Step 2: We use a set of eligibility criteria (see below) to screen potential reviews for inclusion in the CEEDER database.
Step 3: Eligible evidence reviews are randomly allocated to Review College members for rating. The members rate reliability of evidence reviews using CEESAT criteria (see below).


Using CEESAT criteria as an indicator of reliability of reviews

The CEESAT criteria were developed to critically appraise reviews in terms of transparency, repeatability and risk of bias. For each of 16 elements, a review is rated using four categories (Gold, Green, Amber, Red) of review methodology. The Gold equates to the top standard currently recognised in review conduct by CEE and Red is regarded as unreliable. When finding a review of relevance to your evidence needs you can either use the scores as a whole for judging the review reliability or look at certain elements that you feel are important for the context in which you are working. Although the categories are also given “scores” from 1-4, using total scores or mean scores to compare review reliability is not necessarily meaningful and we advise against this in any context except a crude “eyeballing”. It may be more important to understand what elements of a review score Red or Amber and therefore may be deficient.

Contact us: info@environmentalevidence.org

Decisions on eligibility involve some subjective judgement and we will not always get it right.

We welcome feedback from users on CEESAT and what is or is not included in CEEDER.